Moving blog

I’m excited to announce that my new website: elisethomasdesigns.com is 99% finished and ready to launch! I’m just in the final testing phase now. As part of my migration, I’ll be moving my blog over to my site.

The new blog link can be found at: new blog, where you can subscribe via email or rss feed via the ‘Subscribe’ link at the bottom of the any post. I’m hoping all my wonderful readers will follow me there!

A Strange affinity

I have a confession to a strange affinity: I love moss. Maybe it stems from growing up in the high, dry desert of Colorado, but there is something about these miniature humidity loving plants that I find extremely appealing.

moss photography

Beautiful moss specimen photo shot in Monteverde, Costa Rica

Making my living  engaged in creative pursuits, it’s often my personal projects that get pushed to the back burner.  So, I began this summer with one personal project goal to accomplish.

As I am also a HUGE fan of milkglass, when I came across this project on Pinterest, it spoke to me. So, in between shuttling kids to golf, jobs, friends, pools and volunteering and while not trying to squeeze in my own time torching, blogging, listing, emailing, etc….I managed a couple of thrift store trips to gather up my milk glass planters.

If you’ve been reading my posts this summer, you may have seen one about the Mount Cutler Trail, in the Colorado Springs area. In addition to the amazing views, this hike had another appeal for me: Moss!

It was conveniently tumbling down the moss-covered hillsides onto the hiking trial, waiting to be gathered up with no residual guilt on my part. So, with the help of my youngest, we made our way down the trail, gathering as much as our arms could hold while dirt spilled down our fronts and sleeves.

Moss specimens

Gathered moss

Happily, our efforts paid off. The moss survived the weekend in the back of my husbands pickup, nestled in an old camping bowl. And the following week, I was able to assemble my project. You’ll note that while my inspiration from Pintrest was done with preserved moss, mine was done with real, live moss.

I was able to find information on this great Moss website regarding the proper care and feeding of moss. Armed with this knowledge I have gathered the scant Colorado rainwater from my yard into a spray bottle and am dutifully spaying my moss when it dries out. It seems to be greening up nicely, so I am hoping for a  pretty green bouquet in my studio come this fall.

Milkglass moss project

The finished moss project, complete with my bird bead plant stakes!

Moss pics

Moss photo, Monteverde, Costa Rica


Birds on the Fly: Helen Hunts Falls and Mt Cultler Trail

Last Saturday afternoon, we headed out to hit a couple of trails. Of course, the Turquoise birdie was along for the ride, so here are some pics of her adventures.

The first hike was at Helen Hunts Falls, pictured below. The second was the Mt Culter trail, which I highly recommend. We did not quite reach the summit, due to an increasing amount of thunder as we approached it.

bird jewlery

Turquoise bird at base of Helen Hunts Falls

blue bird hiking

Turquoise bird on the Mt Culter trail

A beautiful Jay was waiting near the top to greet us. I’m guessing it’s a Blue Jay, but not entirely sure as I thought the top feathers would be blue and they are black on this cutie.

blue jay photo

Blue Jay?

On etsy this week, I’ve finally gotten to listing some of the bird bath style ring dishes. (Hard to get listing done with all this hiking going on!)

Here are a couple of my faves:

Bird bath ring dish

Love birds bird bath style ring dish

Bluebird ring stand
Blue bird – bird bath style ring stand

Hope you have a beautiful week & Happy bird-spotting!

~elise

Birds on the Fly: Garden of the Gods

The Turquoise bird had a busy weekend! We headed out on Friday to Manitou Springs, CO to do a bit of camping & hiking. Saturday morning’s hike was at Garden of the Gods. We were happy to find the park in great condition, with little to no effect from the recent fires.

Swallow necklace

View from the top of the Ridge Trail, with Iconic Rock formations in the background.

Swallow necklace

Bird in the hollow of gigantic rock formation at the top of the Garden Trail.

Bird swallow necklace

Turquoise birdie on the moss floor on the Scotsman Trail.

It was surprising how much moss existed in this dry park. I’m a big fan of moss, so I thought this was a beautiful view.

Deer picture

This sweet little mule deer doe peeked out at as from the end of the Scotsman Trail.

This was just 1/2 of the Turquoise bird’s day, so watch for more action to come!

~*~

A bit of news on the etsy front, as well. When not out hiking with the Turquoise birdie, I’ve been hard at work listing new products thet were developed for my shows this spring. Here are a couple of the new items from the etsy store:

silk wrap bracelet

Wrap bracelet with Dove bead and Sari silk ribbon

Flower earrings yellow

Nature inspired Yellow flower earrings

Birds On the Fly!

This summer, I’ll be starting a new blog project which I am calling: ‘Birds On the Fly!’ (Thanks to my son for the cool title.)

The concept is simple: My birds will be traveling with me this summer on all my adventures. Most (OK all) of my ‘adventures’ involve the outdoors, generally hiking somewhere in the beautiful American West. On each trip, I’ll be snapping pics of the birds.

My goal is to frame some beautiful views in a scenes with my birds. It will be a challenge to my growing photography skill set, a bit of extra exposure for my birds and maybe a little extra fun for them as well. Like me, they do need to get out now & then ;)

turquoise bird necklace

My handmade Turquoise Swallow bird necklace on the shores of Cub Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, CO

My favorite: The birds!

Snowy Egret

Here are some are my favorite Costa Rica sightings – unfortunately, since birds dont’s stand nice & still, like flowers, capturing them with the lens proved to be much more challenging! Nevertheless, here are a few shots I was pretty pleased with.

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Hummingbird

Fancy Tailed Grackle

Hummingbird

I’d love help with the ID on any of these!

Costa Rica blooms!

As promised, I wanted to share some photos from my recent trip to Costa Rica. I thought I’d break these into a few installments, so you can pursue the subject matter that interests you and skip what doesn’t.

I’ll start with my flower pics. Yes, I know many of these may be common blooms in many areas, but to me here in Colorado, they are all exotic! I hope to use some of these in upcoming digital collage pieces.


In other news, I’m planning an exciting new blogging project, to feature this birdie:

bird jewelry

and one of my other loves: hiking! Interested? Check out my next post to see where this goes :)

Sunday Night Chicken Art

Continuing my Photoshop experiments…. I went out into the garden tonight and shot some pics of flowers, and some pics of my chickens. Something in my twisted mind compelled me to merge the two.  And, without further adieu, I present my Sunday Night Chicken Art ~

This is Gertie

This is Baby

This is Fortis

Glazing process

One of the things I enjoy most about creating is the process of refining. What I mean by this is determining a systematic way of creating a product with increasing quality in a most timely and efficient manner.  Lately, I’ve been trying to refine my glazing process. Glazing can be tedious and time-consuming, so I’ve come up with a couple of alterations to my process that have simplified and improved it.

The first was to create an effective dipping process:

Dipping glaze

I’ve created a hook to use to dip my pot into the glaze container.

Pot glazing

After withdrawing the pot, I use a pint brush to remove excess glaze from the bottom.

Hanging glaze pot

I then hang it to dry.

Second, and in order for the dipping to work I tweaked my firing process:

Single stilt kiln

I found these great little single stilts at Clay King. They allow me to leave glaze on the bottom of the pot when fired in the kiln.

Kiln stilts

Here’s a kiln full of the single stilts.

Loaded kiln

And here’s a kiln full of glazed pots.

Glazed pot

And, finally, another finished pot, each one better than the last!

New toys, new photos

I got a new laptop this week, my old one finally died :( However, new laptop = new Photoshop :)

If I hadn’t already spent enough  money, I also got a new camera. My old bead camera was getting long in the tooth and my upcoming Costa Rica trip seemed like the perfect excuse for an upgrade.

So, taking a few breaks from setting up for my Creekfest show, I’ve been playing a bit with the new toys. Here are a few pics from the new camera:

And a few after playing in Photoshop:

I’m trying to decide if I like the natural ones or the ones that have been ‘shopped’ the best. Thoughts?

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